Once again, this delightful publication in Ohio has decided to use one of my articles in their print June 2014 issue. For more articles from them, please click here.
I was commissioned to write this article about pageants by Forest Heights Life Magazine a little while ago. I admit that at first I was leery about writing on this topic. I am honestly not a fan of pageants, to be honest. However, the delightful Miss Sophia Takla has indeed changed my mind about this particular pageant anyway.
I’m looking forward to the next assignment from FHM. It will no doubt broaden my mental horizons once again.
Please forgive my absence. I haven’t had a chance to update all of my recent publications just yet. In fact, I learned about this next publication (below) from Patrick, a fellow author, before I got to the email from Suburban Parent magazine.
“Kid to Kid” has now appeared in five publications around the country, and once in Canada. One day, I’ll list them all, but for now, enjoy my article here!
This time of year it seems as though everyone says, “make meaningful moments!” or “Every moment counts!” Between magazines, television and commercials, you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel as though you aren’t doing enough or baking enough or buying enough this year.
Make Meaningful Moments Mine
I lost one of my oldest and dearest friends this April to cancer. He didn’t even make it to 38th birthday. I blogged through my grief (elsewhere) and I’ve included an excerpt of it here. Rereading it only reinforced my resolve: making moments meaningful has, well, much more meaning now. I’ve stopped listening to all the noise, noise, noise, and I’m redefining what it means to make these moments mine – especially during the holidays.
Here is my previous post from April 2013:
I recently lost one of my oldest and dearest friends to cancer. And while I could wax on about how wonderful he was and what an impact he made on my life, I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to tell you how his death has affected me.
For the most part, yes I did. Did I write as often as I wanted to? No. Instead, I went on mini-adventures with my kids. I walked away from a toxic working environment. I went to the beach. I played in the sand. I bought a book just because. I giggled and ate popcorn with my daughter. I went on walks and discussed politics with my son. I fell in love with the man of my dreams.
I’ve learned to make meaningful moments all year – not just over the holidays, and certainly not by listening to the media. I’ve never felt more grateful, more full of love and life. Give it a try: make meaningful moments of your own that aren’t defined by anyone but you.
“You’ve gotta dance likethere’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
~William W. Purkey
Let me preface this first with: I am not a dancer. I rarely dance in public… and even then only under extreme coercion (and copious amounts of wine). Nor do I profess to be much of a chef (I do know where the can opener is). But I am trying to incorporate a few new things into my life under the umbrella-ideology of ‘enjoying the moment.’
I recently watched this TED Talk in which Amy Cuddy, a Harvard professor, said that you need not only to “fake it until you make it,” but to go that extra step and “fake it until you become it.” In other words, don’t just pretend you know what you’re doing so others won’t know the difference, do it long enough that YOU won’t know the difference. I’ve taken that to heart. My plan is to become a happier, healthier person – inside and out – one dance move at a time. I’m fox-trotting outside my normal path and dancing in my kitchen. And here are five reasons why you should dance in the kitchen, too.
1. Dancing in the kitchen pumps up your heart rate and your appetite.
Okay, so this one is pretty obvious. You burn an average of 100 calories for every 15 minutes of dancing1 and you’re likely to get pretty hungry afterwards. But did you know that short bursts of high-energy exercise will do you as much good – if not more – than a slow and steady cardio workout?2 This also turns dinner into the best time to “cheat” and have that high-carbohydrate food you crave (read: mashed potatoes) as your body will likely use it to replenish your glycogen levels (fuel for your muscles) rather than store it as fat.3 It really is Mashed Potatoes Time!”
2. Dancing in the kitchen gets your positive endorphins flowing.
If you’re like me, you may feel pretty silly dancing in the kitchen. The trick is to not take it seriously. It’s not about how well you dance, but why you’re dancing in the first place. Dancing releases endorphins that make you feel happier and reduces your stress levels too. Step outside your norm, shake those cares away.
3. Listening to your favorite song will help you live longer.
According to psychologytoday.com, “listening to your favorite music triggers biological changes that improve the lining of your blood vessels (endothelial function) and reduces the risk of heart disease.”4 The more frequently you listen to your favorite music, the greater the effect. Dancing to your favorite song doubles the biological changes to your blood vessels. Bonus: Singing along not only reduces stress and boosts your mood, it also gives you energy (and bonus points in my book).
4. No one will see you dancing in your kitchen.
Shedding your inhibitions will in turn help you shed all the stress of your day. With each shimmy and shake of your hips you’re releasing all the tension your body is keeping wound up inside of you. Shake out all the frustration you’re holding onto, or the anger you are trying to shield from your children while you whip up some dinner. If nothing else, you’ll be too exhausted afterwards to hang onto your anger, and it won’t matter how you do it: no one will see! (I’m certainly not watching you!)
5. Dancing in the kitchen is contagious.
Okay, okay, so your kids might catch you in the act. But so what? They don’t care how well you dance; they will just see their mom happy and enjoying herself. That’s worth a little embarrassment, right? It’s not like you’re this guy….
While dancing in the kitchen is still a new phenomenon for me, it seems to be catching on in my house. My boyfriend – a self-proclaimed non dancer himself – joined Elvis and me in the kitchen last night. And my daughter tried her best to roll her eyes and act like her mom had finally lost it – but in the end she was dancing right alongside us.
I think next week I’ll take up ice skating. Until then, I’m going to dance like nobody’s watching me.
1Based on the calculations at http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc.
3Read more about that here http://greatist.com/fitness/afterburn-effect-keep-burning-calories-after-workout.
4Read the full article here http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201309/why-is-listening-your-favorite-music-good-your-heart.
My latest collaborative writing project for the “Oregon Says I Do” campaign, now featured on Huffington Post and KGW. The heroic pen tries to “save the world one signature at a time!” from the antics of pencil and eraser, while highlighting the benefits and requirements of being a circulator for the state of Oregon. Animation by Headache Films, sound effects by Atomicon. And yes, the female VO is me.